On Lifehacker, Whitson Gordon takes an exhaustive look at the many different features that have been cited as privacy-problematic, and explains what they do and exactly which ones are best to turn off. Gordon notes that a number of these concerns have been exaggerated, but others have more substance to them, and notes exactly which features to disable.
It’s interesting to consider that many of these potential threats to your privacy come about exactly because Microsoft wants to be able to make your computer do more and more things for you. The problem comes in that if you want to make it possible for your computer to do things like hear you say, “Hey, Cortana!” and pop up a helpful search function, you have to let your computer listen to every word you say on the off chance a couple of them might at any given time be “Hey, Cortana!”
For some people, that’s not a problem. For others, it’s a big problem. Fortunately, most of these options can be adjusted to suit individual tastes. It’s just that you have to do that adjusting, because it won’t adjust itself for you.